Personal Background: 3rd honeymoon celebrating 20 years (ages 46 + 48-no kids)
Travel to Port of Embarkation: Started cruise on the 11th September flew from Gatwick to Venice on Easy Jet.
Embarkation: We signed uop for web express check in and from start to finish everything went smoothly and by 3.00 pm we had unpacked and was ready to start our cruise
Stateroom: 10098 Excellent Balcony room even had a sofa. Free safe and fridge come minibar
Ship info and Guests:
Lovely clean ship easy to get around.
Yes you do get uncivilzed non English speaking guests pushing in but as the saying goes if you can't beat em join em and towards the end of the week even my husband had got into the swing of things and was pushing in with gutso!
Dining: food was really good no complaints,enjoyed the dressing up, photo's and cocktails with the captain- only thing is who was driving the boat? Breakfast was more civilized in the dining room, the E'dera restaurant was open breakfast and lunch time for sit down table service if you didn't want to join the feeding frenzy at the buffet. Also from 4.15 to 5.00 were free tea,coffee,cakes and biscuits at the buffet. You could even order room service for breakfast if you had an early shore excursion
Activities: The 4D Cinema was worth the 7€,not just for kids!
Staff and Service: Couldn't fault any staff and service was always with a smile.
Entertainment: Shows were really good
Shore excursions: Bari visit on foot not by train. Make sure you go in the castle.
Katakolon: Visited olympia by coach from msc booked when we first got on boat- some people managed to get a bus there for a cheaper price- A must for people interested in ancient history and monuments-ruins.
Izmir: Take Turkish Lira if you can and Visit Ephesus by coach (journey time approx 50-60 mins) from msc booked when we first got on boat- A must for people interested in ancient history and monuments-ruins. Make sure you go up to the library and large arena as our guide bypassed these as she thought they were dangerous -these are the two main points of interest in Ephesus-I think also they like to whizz you round so you spend money in the shops at the end-only bad point.!
Istanbul: Take Turkish Lira Visited Blue Mosque and Tokapi Palace and Grand Bazaar all within easy reach of each other Take the tram from the main road from port to Blue Mosque about 1.50 lira each obtain change before you buy ticket sofia church 20 lira each to enter cash only tokapi palace 20 lira each to enter cash only Blue Mosque -make sure ladies-all knees and shoulders are covered up-they do provide lovely fetching blue sarong's and everyone has to take their shoes off and carry in a bag which is provided-it is carpeted inside . Visit Grand Bazaar and Spice Market and walk back across the bridge which spans the goldon horn.
Dubrovnik: Take Croatia money Take bus outside port to Dubrovnik city centre only about £3.00 each return you can buy your tickets from the sweet kiosk near bus stop-on main road outside port-cheaper and quicker than MSC Tour-not long enough here-
Venice: Beautiful a must to stay longer.See below.
Disembarkation: Suitcases pascked and left outisde rooms before 2.00am Waited in the Theatre for the time to leave whick went smoothly and luggage was waiting downstairs ready to be collected
Venice: Book extra nights here -well worth it - with Best Western Olimpia -really good and easy to reach from port -shuttle train/people carrier to venice in 3 minutes €1.00,and easy to get back to airport bus no 15 I believe at stand A1 €2.50
In short an excellent time was had by all.